Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Cuckoo
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” Act V. Scene 2

WHEN daisies pied and violets blue,
  And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,        5
Mocks married men; and thus sings he,
          Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!—O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
 
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,        10
  And merry larks are ploughmen’s clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer smocks
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,        15
          Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!—O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
 
 
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